Was saddened to hear that ‘Churchgate’, the most recognised railway station in the country, was being renamed. Churchgate, signified many decades ago, the entrance gate to the Fort of Bombay, where a church stood. So, the gate got to be called ‘Churchgate’ and since the station was built down the same road, it bore the same name.

Just imagine the unfolding of pages of history, with just a name opening it up.

And that history belongs to you and me, with nobody having the right to take it away from the present or future generations.

The present generation are just stewards or caretakers of an heirloom that is theirs to safeguard for a period of time.

I see the same happening elsewhere: A church choir in good ole Madras, now Chennai, decided to have a reunion of its old members, many who’d sung in it, more than fifty years ago. They flew down from all over the world, asked the ‘present’ church board permission to sing on a Sunday, but were given a firm ‘no’. The reason being they were not part of the choir anymore.

Shouldn’t the present board members have realised they were just stewards of the church, and that the church’s history also belonged to the old choir members. But they made the mistake of imagining they were the ‘owners’ of time!

When stewards think they are owners, catastrophe happens, and the environmental issues we face today are mostly because of that. If our children are going to inherit an earth that has been wrecked through our callousness and carelessness, then their sicknesses, and health issues, have only us to blame. Imagining we were the owners of the earth we passed on a sick and dying planet to them.

As murderers we deserve the sentence of a death penalty.

The same sentence is applicable to those who rename roads, cities, towns and stations. They are taking away from future generations their link to their roots. And those on that church board deserve no less a punishment. They took away from the present congregation the right to listen to music and choral singing their fathers had grown up on.

History was literally torn out of their grasp.

It’s like a billionaire shouting, and many do so, “I am a self-made man!”

“Self-made man," whispers his dead mother from the grave, “It was I who carried him to school.”

“And I, who paid his fees, working overtime!” nods his father also from the grave.

I can hear the walls of that same church in Vepery whisper, “Those choral voices of old, built the love for singing the present congregation now has!”

But till we change our attitude from being owners to realising we are stewards of a slot of time, such warning whispers from walls and graves will go unheard, and future generations will be robbed of their rightful heritage..!

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